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Title: What makes up the Coach-Athlete Relationship?
Author: Almeida, Sara
ISNI:       0000 0004 7234 2552
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2018
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The purpose of this study was to understand the coach-athlete relationship based on coaches’ and athletes’ perceptions. In order to do that, a new model, the Coach-Athlete Relationship Model (CAR) was designed, interviews were conducted and the initial stages of the development of an inventory (CARI) was undertaken and then the CARI was piloted to examine this type of relationship in England and Portugal. Based on the CAR model, semi-structures interviews were conducted with sixteen dyads comprising of elite coaches and their athletes from Portugal (eight) and England (eight). The data was analysed qualitatively using both inductive and deductive analyses. The interview data revealed that coaches and athletes have different perspectives regarding a positive relationship; and varying attitudes towards Cohesion barriers, Compatibility, Commitment, Motivation, Co-orientation and Complementarity. Coaches believed that a positive relationship should be respectful and friendly however athletes believed that friendship and good communication were the best attributes. Regarding the Cohesion barriers, English dyads focused more on interpersonal barriers (such as lack of commitment, lack of trust) and Portuguese dyads focused more on structural barriers (distance, lack of time, education commitments). Concerning Compatibility, English dyads were more focused on the outcomes (goals) and Portuguese dyads on the relationship (do the personalities match?). Commitment was also perceived differently in both countries, for English dyads behaviours (travelling a long distance) demonstrated the level of commitment but for Portuguese dyads their attitudes (availability, dedication) demonstrated the degree of commitment. Extrinsic Motivation (achieving their goals) for the English dyads were the most important thing however for the Portuguese dyads, being part of a good environment motivated them more. The Co-orientation construct was also perceived in different ways, English dyads focused more on the drive and Portuguese dyads on attitude. And, regarding Complementarity, English and Portuguese dyads had different opinions regarding the sharing of beliefs, and long-time planning. Based on the participants’ interview responses, a diagnostic tool was developed, the Coach-Athlete Relationship Inventory (CARI). Initially the CARI had a total of 64 items, consisting of 8 constructs and used a 5 point Likert scale. Confirmatory Factor Analysis was used to refine and validate the scale. The data showed an excellent internal consistency and factorial structure. A total of 57 items survived this process. The validity of this scale it was achieved in part by using the participants’ statements from the interviews, and also, by aligning theoretically with the conceptual framework. This developmental stage also served as the first pilot and application of the CARI. The scale was made available online and was completed by 102 participants (54 from England and 48 from Portugal). A series of MANOVA analyses were undertaken to explore the differences between England and Portugal and correlations to explore the relationships between the major variables. The findings of this instrument were that, gender and age were not related, however, there were differences between the two countries and the nature of the relationship varies between countries. The findings of this study have implications for our understanding of the coach-athlete relationship, as well as future coach-athlete relationship research and a useful new tool for all the coaches, athletes and researchers.
Supervisor: Schulz, John Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available